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March 01, 2010

The LATE 19th Century: Appraising the Modern Problem-Play and Ibsen's *A Doll's House*


Image Source: http://whiteoftheeye.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/images-dolls-house.jpg

11 March 2010

Hi Students,

Class ended suddenly today and I didn't get a chance to give you some guidance on your reading responses on Ibsen.

Rather than "assign" a topic for this response, I want you to follow the advice given on reading responses given on page four of the syllabus, which reads:

"The content of the paper must move beyond the freshman-level, exploratory style of writing and answer adequately a question posed by either me—your professor—or a question of your own design (TBA according to reading). [2] The response must be first uploaded digitally to www.turnitin.com and second published to the comment box of the appropriate entry on www.english-blog.com. When all of this is completed, you will receive a qualitative score based on the overall, academic “quality” of both your response and your feedback paragraphs. Attached to this syllabus is a rubric specifying what an acceptable response is and isn’t. NO reading response will be accepted after the deadlines."

Remember that there is a sample response in the syllabus. Also, all of the last responses were pretty good but please look at Dana Jennings last response (you can see it on the English-blog). His paper on Gogol was a "model" paper and represented what I am looking for in a response.

So let this next short paper be a "real" reading response of YOUR design. What about the text did you like? Or, what about this text did you not like? Be specific and ALWAYS back up your position with quotations from the text (citing them properly, naturally). Don't forget the works cited. This is all practice for your final paper. Look at the feedback you got on your last paper on turnitin.com (click the grademark "apple" logo next to your paper) so that you don't make the same point-costing mistakes.

If you are traveling over the holiday, please travel safely. We'll only have a couple of meetings until the reading-check quiz on Kazantzakis so be reading, taking notes in the margins, and looking up words you don't know so that you'll be prepared (you won't be able to read Kazantzakis the night before, so break it up into chunks that can be read "a little" each night.

Happy Spring Break,

Dr. Hobbs

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1 March 2010

ENG 226 Students,

This is the entry we'll be using for our Late 19th Century and Ibsen discussions and homework assignments (do not post items due here elsewhere or you may not receive credit!). To complete course assignments, please follow the instructions you were given in class.

1. Your entry tickets should FIRST be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below. Your entry tickets should have the question and the answer (I asked that you submit a version of the questions without answers as a hardcopy in class).

2. Your reading response--directed/based on a topic you selected from a list distributed in class--should also be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below.

I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this . . .

. . . For your pleasure, please enjoy these trailers for some of the various films themed around the late 19th century below.


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)--with Johnny Depp--is supposed to be set in Victorian England. The historical Todd was hanged in 1801. Some serializations of the "myth" dramatized in the various stage and film adaptations were published in the 1840s. The wigs and top hats together show a transition from the late 18th century to the early 19th century.


September Dawn (2006) "sets a fictional love story against a controversial historical interpretation of the Mountain Meadows massacre, which happened on September 11, 1857 when a wagon train of emigrants was attacked by a group of Mormon militiamen and members of the Paiute tribe. More than 120 men, women, and children were murdered." As I stated, the film is controversial--watch with a critical mind and research as a scholar would.


The Gangs of New York (2002) is set in a period that stretches from 1846 to the 1860s. Again, I am presenting you with this trailer to give you access to a feel of what the era was supposed to have looked like around mid-century.


Bram Stoker's Dracula from 1992 is another film both written in and about the 19th Century.


From Hell (2001) with Johnny Depp depicts 19th Century (1880s) London and dramatizes the unsolved mystery of "Jack the Ripper"


Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) retraces the events that led to the capture of Geronimo in 1886.


Like The Gangs of New York, this film set in the 1890s covers a bit of Ireland and the U.S. Far and Away (1992) stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and covers the incredible story of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893


The entire film about the life of Oscar Wilde, Wilde from 1997, is available in 12 parts here


I recommend this one. The Illusionist (2006) is set in the Fin-de-Siecle--in Vienna, Austria.


These films almost always come out of Hollywood in "pairs." The Prestige (2006) also uses the stage magic show theme but sets it in Fin-de-Siecle London. This one is cool because Nikola Tesla, played by David Bowie, makes a cameo appearance in the story


Moulin Rouge! (2001) is set in Paris circa 1900--the heart of the Belle Epoque.


Just for fun--Mr T. as "Torvald." From Saturday Night LIve's T.V. Funhouse:

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To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at March 1, 2010 10:25 PM

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